Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Vic Falls club illegally seized by government

Vic Falls club illegally seized by government

By Tererai Karimakwenda
10 September, 2012

Tour operators in Zimbabwe are concerned about their future after a recent 
government takeover of the Victoria Falls Boating Club.

According to Newsday newspaper, government plans to establish their own 
boating facility at the Club ahead of the United Nations World Tourism 
Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly due in Vic Falls next year.

The Boating Club was last month given a six-month notice to vacate their 
premises by the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development, 
from whom they have leased the land since 1972.

Newsday said the eviction notice followed deadlocked negotiations over rent 
increases that had been imposed by the Ministry, which required the Boating 
Club to pay increased rentals of $4,629 per year, but backdated to 2008. 
This brought the total owed by the Club to over $16,000.

The pending WTO general assembly due in Vic Falls has seen many ZANU PF 
chefs scrambling to position themselves to make a lot of money.

This theft of companies and land has been ongoing and Ben Freeth, spokesman 
for SADC Tribunal Rights Watch, told SW Radio Africa the chaos all over the 
country is a symptom of the breakdown in the rule of law and lack of respect 
for property rights.

“It’s no different than in the past where as we head towards an election 
people get rewarded and their greed is only satisfied by being able to grab 
property,” Freeth explained, adding: “It is very disturbing. I see the next 
generation wanting to leave the country and taking their skills elsewhere.”

According to Newsday the Boating Club is run by a board that is “dominated 
by white business people”. Asked about this, Freeth said they had hoped 
things like racism would change when the coalition government was formed but 
this has not happened.

“We see that in the Constitution the MDC has agreed for land to continue to 
be taken and people have no right to go to court. The rule of law must be 
re-established,” Freeth said.

He added that many foreign investors that attended a conference in South 
Africa earlier this year told him they would not risk their money in 
Zimbabwe under the current conditions, even though the country has more 
potential than its neighbors. 


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